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Frames That Steal The Show

Written by Jim Hinckley

December 29, 2022

The proper frame and matting can transform a photo, a print or a painting. With assistance from a craftsman that specializes in creating custom frames something mundane or average becomes breathtaking artistry. In Kingman, Arizona, that transformation is a specialty of Master Framer John Erickson at Avant Print and Frame.

Artist Debbie Wingham took this concept to new levels with creation of what has been dubbed the world’s most expensive frame. The circular frame that mimics a clock face is encrusted with more than 10,000 diamonds. Not surprising is the appraised value of more than $2 million dollars.

In the years bracketing the turn of the 20th century, Cartier and Tiffany were the jewlers of the rich and famous. But for the super wealthy and for royalty only products from the House of Fabergé were suitable for gifts.

Fabergé is best known for the creation of stunning jeweled enamel Easter eggs made for the Czar of Russia and his family. But these are just one example of the artistic creations produced by Fabergé. Craftsmen working in their studios transformed cigarette cases, mantel clocks and other mundane items into stunning works of art. Counted among the items from Fabergé prized by collectors today are the picture frames that showcase their highly advanced enamelling techniques and goldsmithing skills.

Collecting and restoring antique and historic frames has become big business. A proper frame will even transform a work by Leonardo da Vinci.

In 2017, Salvatore Mundi, one of twenty known works by Leonardo da Vinci, was rediscovered and made ready for sale. Lowy, the world’s premiere antique frame and art restoration company was contracted to frame the rare painting.

A meticulously restored 16th-century black and gold Italian frame was selected. The frame itself had an estimated value of $50,000. Sold by Christie’s auctions the framed work sold for a record-breaking price of just over $450 million.

In the late 19th century an argument raged in the arts community. Was photography art? Could a photographer be considered an artist?

Today digital photography is the subject of discussion. But here too, framing is transforming the material.

As an example, best known for automobiles, South Korean manufacturer Hyundai, is reportedly developing a digital picture frame that will be a game changer. The large four-panel digital frame doubles as a folding door room divider.

And if you want to blend your digital photography with the television that dominates a room Samsung introduced a revolutionary digital frame in 2017. Since then it has evolved to keep up with technological developments.

This digital frame IS a television. When not in use it becames a digital frame. To ensure that it compliments existing decor interchangeable wood finish bevels are available.

If you are looking to transform a photogrpah or painting into gallery quality art, don’t underestimate the importance of proper framing. Don’t forget that Avant Print and Frame is northwest Arizona’s leading frame specialist.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America

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